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Regional unemployment offices set to reopen
After being closed for more than three years, regional offices to reopen for in-person unemployment insurance assistance.
By Crystal Staley/Holly Neal
Frankfort, KY - Gov. Andy Beshear and Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry L. Roberts announced on Tuesday that in-person unemployment insurance (UI) services will open April 15, 2021, at more than a dozen regional Kentucky Career Centers (KCCs).
KCC staff will be available for in-person assistance by appointment only. At 1pmET on Wednesday, April 7, Kentuckians can begin scheduling Monday through Friday appointments at kcc.ky.gov.
Openings on Wednesday will be for appointments April 15-30. Beginning April 19, appointments for May 3 will become available, with additional appointment times opening each day thereafter.
"When you combine years of painful staffing cuts, an out-of-date system designed to tell people no and the effects of a once-in-100-years pandemic - many Kentuckians have been unable to obtain benefits," Gov. Beshear said. "In addition to taking many new actions to help Kentuckians in need, we are now making good on our promise to begin putting unemployment specialists back into the local career centers."
Labor Secretary Roberts said the Kentucky Career Center staff is working diligently to prepare for opening day.
"It has taken a lot of work to make it happen in a short window of time, but our staff has worked hard in recent weeks to pull everything together to get us in a position to once again provide services that unemployment claimants need at this critical time," Roberts said.
Under the previous administration, KCC locations around the state stopped providing in-person assistance to UI claimants in the fall of 2017.
The record level of unemployment spurred by the pandemic and years of painful staffing cuts, location reductions and failure to upgrade IT systems slowed the state's ability to help many Kentuckians who lost jobs through no fault of their own.
The Governor's proposed budget included General Fund spending of $1.1 million in fiscal year 2021 and $8.4 million in fiscal year 2022 to provide funding to restore employees to help with unemployment claims at the career centers throughout the commonwealth.
On March 31, Gov. Beshear spoke about the need for additional state funding to bolster career center staffing for the long term. The Labor Cabinet will be utilizing current staff in the career centers that normally provide career counseling services to begin offering in-person UI assistance.
Kentucky Career Center Regional Locations
The cabinet will also be opening a new, temporary facility in Lexington, which will also provide UI assistance.
This story was posted on 2021-04-07 06:55:13
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